Sometimes when you look in the mirror you see some things you don't like. You see wrinkles, yes, and grey hair, sure, but that's okay, that's just what happens if you don't die young, you get older, and that just fine, but there is other stuff there, stuff that hides behind the eyes, things you hate, that meek child part of you, that broken fool part of you , that sad pathetic needy part of you, it is all there if you look close enough, there hiding behind your eyes.
So what you do is, you take all the parts of yourself that you hate, all the weaknesses and failures, you take those things and you lock them away, somewhere deep, somewhere dark. All the times you failed, when you should have spoken up but didn't, when someone needed you and you didn't show up, when you could have easily given but chose not to, you reach inside and pull it out of you and you toss it down the stairs.
What you do is, you look at all the worst parts of the people you love, you look inside, you identify those qualities in yourself and you lock those away behind that heavy, heavy door. You find there inside yourself the lost child, the depressive, the coward, the drunk, the absentee father, the lazy asshole, the pathetic need, you take them all out, and one by one, you shove them down the stairs into the darkness.
And then what you do is, nothing. You can assume that you are fine and you feel a lot better.
But all those terrible, awful, hateful things, they keep on living down there in the darkness, they meet up, they recognize each other. They all realize that they are the same, and then what happens is, they meld together and you realize that you have accidentally created a monster, something dark and horrible and dangerous, and it is in your house, and even though mostly it sleeps, mostly it is safely locked away in the darkness, you can never rest easy. You have to go and check to make sure the door is locked and for a while it is fine, for a while the monster sleeps and you can relax, but a little uneasy, too aware that all that stands between the creature and the sunny place you have built is a piece of wood and some chains.
Sometimes the door rattles, sometimes the monster wants to be let out, but it has grown so huge and dangerous that you fear that it will eat everything that you love, and so then what you do is, you sit with your back to the door and you can't enjoy living in the light because you are so afraid that the monster is awake, that if you're not watchful, it will escape.
You are afraid that it is inevitable, that one day you will fall asleep, you will forget to check the locks. You believe it is just a matter of time.
And what you do is, you wait.
Never once does it cross your mind that living with a monster is crazy, that only a damn fool would live like this, never once do you remember that it was you who created it. Never once does it occur to you that it is you.
The monster is part of you.
So there can be no peace for your soul, no rest, no reprieve, and the monster inside will never be slayed, it can only be put to sleep for a while. And the monster waits.
What you do then is, you live with it.
You live with it.
You know what to do by now right? Comment here, email me at dissent.within at gmail.com, on Twitter @RDPullins, and Facebook, I suppose, even though its gross.
I want to paraphrase something I heard recently:
Whatever it s that you do, if you make music or write poetry or cut hair or make furniture or food or whatever it is, do it as hard and as honestly as you can, and get it out in the world. It is these things that remind us that we are not alone, and even though you may never know it, you have helped, even if just a little. Sometimes just a little makes a big difference to someone. Peace.
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